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Posted on 03-24-2011
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U.S.-Brazil Alliance


By Jake Caldwell

for their livelihood and it is predicted that severe crop losses leading to food shortages in Africa and South Asia will happen in a much shorter timeframe than previously anticipated.
Agriculture productivity is a fundamental building block of economic development and poverty reduction in many developing countries. The United States and developed countries have neglected investment in agricultural development and small farmers in developing countries for too long. Investment in agriculture programs has shrunk to 3.5 percent of all U.S. overseas development assistance from 18 percent in 1979. Agricultural productivity growth in developing countries has dropped below 1 percent.

Greater collaboration on food security between the United States and Brazil can reverse this dangerous course.
For starters, they will need to rethink the sustainability of exporting industrial-level, energy-intensive agriculture productivity to developing countries. This approach is unlikely to meet global food security needs over the long term in a resource-constrained world. A more diverse strategy is needed.
Instead, the United States and Brazil should provide technical assistance, training, and financial incentives to developing countries to enhance food security and adapt to the destructive impacts of climate change. The two nations should focus on agricultural production that preserves the soil and water supply, promotes crop diversification, encourages local agricultural knowledge and the role of women farmers, and reduces dependence on fossil fuels and other high-cost inputs. It will be vital for the private and public sector in the United States and Brazil to fund agricultural research to increase food production yields, conserve biodiversity, and combat pests and disease in a safe and transparent manner.
The United States and Brazil are also the global leaders in the production and export of biofuels. They have a mutual interest in ensuring that future biofuels production moves forward in a sustainable manner in a ...
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